By Elena Bauer
On Wednesday November 5, Stanford in Government hosted a Policy Lunch with Professor John Weyant of the Management Science and Engineering (MS&E) department. His research is primarily focused on global climate change policy options, and he has traveled the world influencing energy policy. Weyant was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize once in 2007 and again in 2008 for his work to curb California’s carbon footprint and reduce carbon emissions globally.
Weyant began by telling the audience how he ended up in the sphere of public policy. He began his undergraduate career as an aeronautical engineer, and later transitioned to management science when he received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. Weyant shared that someone told him that climate would be the next big policy crisis, and he should focus his efforts on that. Although he was initially skeptical, he eventually took the advice and began researching energy efficient technology.
Weyant explained that international energy policy is a complex issue: each nation has its individual interests, and coming together for a common cause is often more difficult than one might hope (he highlighted the failure of the Kyoto Protocol). Because Weyant has many professional interests including economics, optimization, public policy, and the environment, he said that MS&E suits him well. He encouraged students interested in having a meaningful effect on policy to explore the major.